South Africa has one of the most unequal societies in the world. While on one hand there is extreme wealth, on the other there is extreme poverty. Because of this, national statistics tend to mask some of the worst cases of poverty in the country.
Challenges that the children of South Africa face
South Africa is home to 19 million children, two thirds of whom live in poverty. Many of the country’s children live with unemployed, chronically ill or absent parents. The country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, high unemployment rates and poor service delivery are just some of the issues that contend with poverty for the government’s attention.
The affects of inequality can be seen on our education system. Poverty affects the health of children, which decreases their performance at school. For example, children who are hungry have trouble concentrating. The HIV/AIDS pandemic also massively impacts learners from poor backgrounds. Thousands of learners have lost their parents to the disease and have had to take on adult responsibilities at home, which leads to them skipping and missing school. Teenage pregnancy, child abuse and violence, crime, and poor access to resources, transport and healthcare are all factors that impact the education of otherwise promising children.
Rural schools in South Africa also have limited resources. Although all public schools receive government funding, it is not enough to make up the difference between working and middle-class schools. Many of these schools do not have textbooks, computers, or libraries. The teachers are unreliable and children have to struggle in an environment that does not facilitate learning.
Although South Africa has progressive child protection policies and the government is addressing the worst poverty through a massive social grants system, South Africa’s entrenched structural problems continues to undermine children’s survival, development and protection. This has led to poor academic achievements and South African students scoring low on international literacy, reading and numeracy assessments.
How Dreams To Reality (DTR) makes a difference
The DTR foundation aims to give volunteers from all over the world the chance to make a difference. By placing them in two communities near Cape Town, South Africa DTR prides itself on providing international volunteers with affordable, flexible, safe and meaningful volunteer experiences.
DTR not only provides aid and assists disadvantaged communities but we also utilise the skills and expertise of our volunteers to the best of our ability. By providing short-term international vounteers, we aim to assist local communities and organisations.
By working with children on several aspects of their lives, you will be able to encourage, support and empower them in essential ways. When signing up, volunteers can choose their volunteer period, from 1 week to 6 months. Volunteers can choose which program they want to get involved in which includes the Teaching Program, the Childcare Program, the Computer Training Program, the Sports Development Program, and the Surf Outreach Program.
We aim to empower children and provide them with the tools they need to overcome their circumstances. Fighting poverty is a process, one that will not be easily won. But every day we can learn and do our part, which is a small step in the right direction.
Join the DTR team and become a volunteer today: Click here to find out more.